Changes must be made to the licensing regime to help improve the safety of new drivers – in particular through the introduction of a Graduated Driver Licensing system.
So says Brake as it reveals that last year, on average, 33 new drivers had their licence revoked every day after reaching six penalty points within two years of passing their driving test.
The data, obtained from the DVLA by a freedom of information request submitted by the road safety charity, reveals that 11,953 new drivers had their licence revoked under the New Drivers Act in 2018, with drivers aged 17-24 making up almost two-thirds (62%) of the total.
With Department for Transport data showing that drivers aged 17-24 are disproportionately at risk on Britain’s roads – representing nearly a fifth of all drivers killed and seriously injured on the roads but only making up 7% of all licence holders – the DVLA data shows that more needs to be done to ensure young drivers are safe on the roads.
As such, Brake is continuing its calls for the introduction of a comprehensive Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system across the UK.
Currently being explored by the Government under its Road Safety Action Plan, GDL would introduce a 12-month learner period, an initial test, and then a two-year novice period when drivers can drive independently but with restrictions – such as a late-night driving curfew. This would significantly reduce the number of new driver crashes, according to Brake.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “It’s shocking that so many new drivers are racking up enough penalty points to have their licences revoked so soon after passing their test, in particular those in the 17-24 age bracket. It clearly demonstrates that we need to make our licensing system more robust so that when a driver passes their test, they have all the necessary tools and knowledge to drive safely on all roads and in all conditions. Fortunately, there is a proven solution which can deliver this, Graduated Driver Licensing.
“The Government’s announcement that they will explore the issue of GDL further is welcome. Swift and decisive action must, however, be taken to introduce GDL across the UK, as a priority to ensure new drivers have the skills and experience they need and to end the tragedy of young people dying on our roads.”